Hungry Orcas, Declining Salmon

Orca at sunset off Golden Gardens park in Seattle

Middle school students dive into Puget Sound and explore predator-prey relationships and species decline. Students will hypothesize about the relationship between Southern Resident orcas and Chinook salmon and will cite their claims using empirical evidence. Students will learn about what National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) researchers are doing to study Southern Resident Orcas and how Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) biologists are removing physical barriers to migrating salmon. 

Students will use graphs to make claims and will have the opportunity to make their own informational graphic. Their final assessment encourages them to delve deeper into research of the subject and look for ways to help sustain the population of Salish Sea Chinook salmon. Additional resources are available at the end of the lesson. 

Lesson plan

Hungry Orcas, Declining Salmon

Supporting materials